Pseudowintera traversii


Pseudowintera: false Wintera (a related genus)
traversii: Named after William Thomas Locke Travers (1819-1903) who was an Irish lawyer, magistrate, politician, explorer, naturalist, photographer. He lived in New Zealand from 1849 and was a fellow of the Linnean Society.

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


2012 - DP


Pseudowintera traversii (Buchanan) Dandy



Brief Description

Small shrub found in the northern West Coast area with small oval leaves that are white and dotted with glands underneath

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Hymenanthera traversii Buchanan, Drimys traversii (Buchanan) Kirk, Wintera monogyna Tiegh.


Endemic. Northern West Coast and Nelson from Collingwood southwards to Westport


Montane and subalpine forest margins


Depressed to erect shrub to 1.5 m tall; trunks and branches upright or spreading, sometimes layering; bark rough, reddish brown dark; branchlets pale green or yellowish, viscid. Plants glabrous. Leaves close-set, alternate, pungent and mildly pepper-tasting; petiole stout, appressed or ascending, c. 5 mm long, greenish; midvein inconspicuous above, raised below; lamina 10-25 x 6-10 mm, obovate to broad-elliptic, margin thick, planar, tip obtuse or sometime retuse, very thick and coriaceous, upper surface matt dull olive-green, not blotched, undersides glaucous, dotted, both midrib and thickened margin yellow. Juvenile leaves larger. Inflorescences inconspicuous, axillary, flowers bisexual, c. 1 cm diam., in fascicles of 1-2, on decurved pedicels 1-5 mm long, bracts ciliate. Calyx cupule margins entire. Corolla comprised of 5-6 free petals, these 4-5 mm long, oblong to narrow-ovate, greenish yellow, apex obtuse. Carpels 1-2, stigma apical. Stamens 4-11. Fruit a 3-6-seeded fleshy depressed-obovoid berry, 2-3 mm diam., black, flesh red. Seed 1- or 3-angled, elliptic-obovate, 3.2-4.0 mm, surface irrregular.

Similar Taxa

Perhaps could be confused with Coprosma crassifolia which also has small leaves that are white underneath, but the leaves of this species are always in opposite pairs and are rounded rather than alternate and oval (and also usually larger).



Flower Colours





Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 86

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Description adapted from Allan (1961), Heenan and de Lange (2006), Eagle (2000), Webb and Simpson (2001) and Wilson and Galloway (1993).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington

Heenan, P.B, de Lange, P.J. 2006. Pseudowintera insperata (Winteraceae), an overlooked and rare new species from northern New Zealand. NZ J. Botany 44: 89-98

Eagle, A. 2000. Eagle's complete trees and shrubs of NZ. Te Papa Press, Wellington

Webb, C.J. &  Simpson, M.J.A. 2001. Seeds of NZ gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch

Wilson, H; Galloway, T. 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch.

This page last updated on 13 Jan 2014